why not just use salt then
Common salt (sodium chloride) when dissolved in water and electrolysed will (in dilute solutions) gradually become more concentrated as the oxygen and hydrogen forming the water molecules are released in gaseous form. In concentrated solutions gaseous chlorine will be given off ... a very unpleasant material dangerous to eyes, skin, an in particular, lungs. Anyone who's breathed in a good dose of chlorine (as I have) is somewhat reluctant to repeat the experience.
Just a side remark, I've never used the electrolytic method at home but did so extensively in an industrial setting. Any springs stand a fair chance of being embrittled to the point of failure; I once saw this happen when I subjected a wound alarm clock to cathodic cleaning; you can hear a clock spring let go about a foot below solution level.
Not a lot of people know that.
I second boric acid, used warm at about 30g/l. Gets into all the corners and can penetrate all sorts of goo.